Nitin Ganesh Shetty 1981 - 2015

It is with deep sadness that I must announce the passing of former Portcullis player Nitin Shetty who died suddenly in Mumbai last week at the age of 34.

Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife and young son and to all his family and friends at this difficult time.

Nitin was well liked at the club and fondly remembered since he returned home to India. He was not just a hell of a cricketer but a genuinely nice guy the likes of which we are unlikely to see again any time soon.

I first met Nitin during my brief spell at St Ronalds 2nds. He impressed me with a love and enthusiasm of the game which matched my own but a level of skill and ability far beyond mine.

In that first season in 2008 he amassed scores of 74 against Manofield 2nds and 54 not out against Queens Cross and also took 4 for 48 against Stonehaven. However it was his attitude that most impressed. Whether batting, bowling, fielding, umpiring or marking the scorebook it always seemed as if there was nothing he would rather be doing. His achievements were all the more impressive as later on he told me that before he joined St Ronalds he had never even held a real cricket ball.

When I returned to Portcullis in 2010 he came too and was immediately a perfect fit for the club. His boundless enthusiasm and mischievious sense of humour found him many new fans and his skills on the field were very welcome at a difficult time for the club.

His batting was the perfect mix of flair and tenacity, he bowled offspin with accuracy and guile, he fielded as if every ball was the last ball of the cup final with 2 runs needed.

In his first game at Kemnay he took three catches, bowled 5 overs and scored 11 not out including the winning runs. Over the next two seasons he chipped in valuable runs in the middle order regularly crashing the ball about, occasionaly disappointing bowling attacks grinding out long innings, always contributing. His highest score of 29 came against Kemnay and the Thom brothers as he helped chase down 197. This perhaps shows the real worth of his batting always seeming to deliver against the best opposition when we really needed it. Not massive scores but the 20s and 25s that can make all the difference at the end of the day.

With the ball his highlights were 4 for 30 against Huntly in 2010 and a magnificent 5 for 15, bowling Gordonians out for 68 in his final match (he also scored 17 out of our 111).

A measure of his skill and his importance to the club is the Most Valuable Player table. He finished 5th in 2010 and 3rd in 2011 (having played 4 fewer matches than the winner) but he was so much more than just a great player.

It has been commented that he always had a smile on his face but that's not true. It was a grin. A cheeky, mischievous, grin on a cheeky, mischievous little imp. Nitin was undoubtedly a man you could trust with your life, you just couldn't trust him with your phone. Or your Facebook password.

On and off the field we laughed a lot. He had a talent for turning you into the Dick Dastardly to his Muttley

I enjoyed batting with him perhaps more than anyone else. We were certainly an odd couple he stood perhaps 5' 4" and maybe nine stone with his junior size pads and Harrow bat, me 6' 3" and significantly more than nine stone.

My fondest memory of him is trying to bat out a draw against Knightriders at the Shedd. Nitin "loved" Knightriders. Following an injury in the field I returned from A&E to find us in the midst of a good old fashioned collapse so I strapped on an arm guard and went out as number 11 to join Nitin. 

We batted out over after over, laughing and joking and enjoying the fielders discomfort and annoyance. We soaked up the aggression. Not the pressure, there was never pressure batting with Nitin.

We fell 6 balls short of the draw, I was bowled, he never looked in trouble (27 runs), but we had made the batting points we needed.

I must draw this tribute to a close and it's difficult to sum up the life of someone like Nitin but I'll try.

He was my friend and I will miss him.

David "Sanchez" Forbes